Horizon:Volume 7C Chapter 75
Chapter 75: Approacher of a Place of Reminiscence
To end this
Point Allocation (Sleeping In)
Mitsunari sighed within the forest on the east side of the hill.
…This is dangerous.
The number of dragon cannons she could hear from the east seemed to be growing.
In fact, she was certain the first unit dealing with Bernard to north was being worn down.
“I must send them instructions and a solution. Musashi has moved between us, so they also need to know when to withdraw.”
She took in a deep breath.
As a program, the concept of physical exhaustion did not apply to her. However…
…The staleness of data and the damage I take does affect me.
She could see in the eastern sky that the fleet had survived.
She had not done all that much. She had only told the ships how to control themselves effectively and given them the course needed to overcome the initial stage of the explosive force coming from the Musashi.
The rest was in the hands of the ships’ pilots.
Out of 32 ships, 2 had been destroyed, 7 badly damaged, and almost all minorly damaged, but that had been unavoidable with the giant air pockets that kept hitting them. But at the same time…
“I am only making excuses regarding my own lack of foresight.”
She fell down to one knee.
The burden was catching up to her.
One hundred of her had gathered the data of the blast and another hundred had performed the calculations for the ships. The results of those calculations were no longer needed. Only the resultant data remained, so if she did not erase that from her memories, she would be carrying around needless information that would obstruct her future calculations.
She began cleaning up her memories.
She completed the process.
The excess data weighing down her mind was now gone.
She wondered if she should set that garbage collection process to run automatically, but she decided against it. She was afraid she would find herself unable to respond to a situation if she was not carefully selecting which excess data to eliminate and which to hold onto. It would be perfect if she could set it up to have a check run and have the excess data erased if it matched certain conditions, but she generally did everything on her own. Creating multiple instances of herself and performing high-level data processing greatly wore through the ether forming her, so performing those conditional checks would still wear her down in the long run.
In that case, she needed to set up some external memory space.
“No, now is not the time to think about that.”
…I am such a poorly-made program.
A human would probably sigh right now, so she did the same.
Multiplying herself just now had taken a lot out of her. She had lost everything she had recovered. However…
“That is fine.”
No one could see her here in the forest.
She had to keep up appearances as supreme commander, so she could not let anyone see her fall to a knee like this.
Recalling what she had seen the other Ten Spears do at times, she slapped herself on the cheeks.
More than a stimulus to her sense of pain, she detected instantaneous pressure to her cheeks.
She did not understand why humans would do this, but…
She could tell the sensory control functions were working in her cheeks.
That told her that she was functioning properly. So…
“Everyone, please respond to the enemy movement,” she said while deciding to shift position to somewhere near Matthias. “The Musashi and its transport ships are descending. They hope to cut across Nördlingen. I will now calculate out how each combat region should respond, so please swiftly obey the instructions you are provided.”
Tomoe Gozen saw an explosion of light atop the hill to southwest.
…Was that Bernard’s dragon cannon?
She was impressed that the Celestial Dragon had made his decision faster than they could move. He was clearly wearing himself down in order to resist, but…
…That Swarm Dragon just has to eat to recover.
Since humanity would simply die when they died, it could seem like Celestial Dragons were cheating.
Nevertheless, Tomoe Gozen focused on the sudden enemy movement ahead of her.
The enemy assault unit had been waiting cautiously at the bottom of the hill, but now it was slowly moving forward.
But while they had their weapons at the ready, those weapons were not pointed toward Tomoe Gozen’s unit.
“They’re holding them diagonally?”
That was the same thing her unit had done earlier.
She of course knew why they were doing this.
The enemy had already shifted tactics. They now intended to wear down her unit while predicting when to withdraw.
After all, the Musashi was descending toward the southern hill. Once the Musashi sent out its warriors as reinforcements, the M.H.R.R. assault unit pursuing her unit and Bernard would be attacked from behind.
But if they tried to withdraw, they could not move east since the Musashi was setting up their position to the south.
Their only option was to move north while ensuring they could fall back west at any time.
“Testament. The enemy must intend to head toward the Nagaoka estate and gather together from east and west.”
Her unit had to hurry there as well.
The route from north of Nördlingen to the Nagaoka estate was made up of fields. Even if the Musashi forces cut across Nördlingen, their invasion would be stopped if the enemy held the north end of the city.
Her unit had to reach north Nördlingen first and clear a path for Musashi.
…I more or less see how this will go now.
“Everyone! Your true battleground will be the northern outskirts of Nördlingen where the Nagaoka estate lies! Hurry!”
Just as she ordered everyone on ahead, she swung her head to the right.
A moment later, a beam of light shot straight past the side of her head.
Tomoe Gozen looked dead ahead after performing that split-second dodge.
She had been cautiously watching Yoshinaka while he did the same to her, but he had finally made his move.
She, meanwhile, swayed her body away from the line of midair explosions and escaped to the right.
“You really are a pain in the rear.”
What should she do about him?
A surprise reunion after 500 years isn’t exactly fun, she thought with a bitter smile. She also pulled another hammer from the Testament copy stocker on her back.
She used a swing of her left arm to extend the collapsible hammer.
Then she turned her body toward Yoshinaka.
She had already thrown herself forward and raised her right hammer.
“What the hell are you doing here revived and firing your mouth beams!? Huh!? Did you have some kind of regret!? Did you!?”
He answered her shout by opening his mouth. Bluish-white ether light shined deep in his skeletal throat and a roar burst forth.
“If you’re looking for a fight with your wife after 500 years, then so be it!”
The beam pierced the air.
“Oh? Things are looking exciting in Tomoe Gozen’s end of things again.”
Multiple explosions echoed off the city walls from the west of Nördlingen.
Christina moved inside the house, placed a hand on the doorway, and stood up on her toes. She could glimpse the dimly-lit battle beyond the estate’s wall.
Things had grown a lot brighter, but the defense barriers and flying beams of light were still a lot brighter.
…That certainly is impressive. Yes.
What time period are those mouth beams from?
Curious, she sent a divine transmission.
Self-Destruct Woman: “Tomoe Gozen? The story you told me and the Genpei documents I read in Kyoto mentioned someone who fired mouth beams. Is that a popular technique, by any chance?”
Lady AM: “That’s the guy from my story!”
Self-Destruct Woman: “Oh, dear. That’s him? He certainly is a long liver.”
Lady AM: “Have you forgotten who you’re talking to here!?”
Self-Destruct Woman: “Now that you mention it.”
The world is such a complicated place, she thought.
…You gather information and try to be aware of every little thing, but there is still so much you don’t know.
Ever since she was a teenager, nations and people had appeared and gone away so often.
But this time…
“Someone who had gone away has appeared again. I can’t say I expected that one. No.”
She lowered her heels back to the floor.
And she sat down.
Her story would be over in less than an hour. Even if she tried to run away, she could be traced using her divine protection management, so it was not like she could slip out the back door without anyone noticing.
The current age did surprisingly well to preserve the history recreation.
The rest was up to the people involved.
Self-Destruct Woman: “Tomoe Gozen, the history recreation is such a troublesome thing, isn’t it?”
Lady AM: “What’s this all of a sudden? If you have regrets, you could always work out a more peaceful resolution to your history recreation.”
“No, no,” she said with a bitter smile.
Lady AM: “I too resent the history recreation. And the history recreation dates back to the Age of Dawn, so there must be so many more like us.”
Self-Destruct Woman: “But protesting the structure of society is so much work.”
Lady AM: “How do you think the Protestant Reformation happened? And we have that kind of resistance to thank for the interpretations we can use.”
In a way, you could say everyone had the right to resist.
…It all started back in the Age of Dawn, did it?
The history recreation was the political measure created as a form of mutual restraint when humanity was so busy fighting itself it was walking ever closer to complete destruction.
By applying rules to the world’s changes and by managing how far any one group’s power could be increased or decreased, the world’s movements could be controlled. That was how Christina saw the history recreation.
During the Age of the Gods, she had heard there were nations and even planets managed similarly by massive artificial intelligence. When humanity had returned to Earth, they could no longer construct such things, but they had managed fairly well to provide similar management through discussions. Those discussions were unpredictable, but that was what allowed them to work so well.
The result was known as interpretations.
The world was growing more complex and the history recreation interpretations gave depth to that fact.
Self-Destruct Woman: “Tomoe Gozen, I know you are busy with your battle, but could I ask you one thing as someone who has slipped through the gaps of the current world?”
She heard multiple explosions from her lernen figur and light burst from the ground to the west.
Lady AM: “Dodged it! …Ask away.”
Self-Destruct Woman: “Testament. I have researched a great many things ever since I was a child, including the history recreation and people’s reactions to it. From that, I have come to think that the world may have changed with the Harmonic Unification War. Yes.”
Tomoe Gozen dropped her hips to dodge Yoshinaka’s large sword while she listened to Christina.
Self-Destruct Woman: “Approximately 160 years ago, two worlds combined and it caused widescale chaos. I am impressed people managed to show enough restraint to create the present world during all of that.”
A wind blew in after Yoshinaka’s sword passed by.
The sword pressure was impressively unwavering. Tomoe Gozen asked a question while a few of her hairs scattered.
Lady AM: “In the simple world following the Age of Dawn, I imagine the history recreation was just as simple and free of chaos.”
That much was clear even from the records that were publicly viewable. There were records of the Far East when it was known as the Divine States and of the other nations when they were known as the Harmonic Divine States.
…When viewed from a historical perspective, things were far more peaceful back then.
After all, the population had been smaller and, even when people lived near a border, wars were only short-term affairs with neighboring nations. Modern productive techniques and divine transmission environments had yet to be developed, so it was difficult for wars to grow too large or too lengthy.
Back then, it often seemed like they managed to sidestep the history recreation using those things as an excuse, but…
After she dodged downward, Yoshinaka leaped back and away.
He spun his body.
He had probably thought up the move on the fly, but his head turned back toward her while his shoulders quickly twirled around.
He also switched which hand was holding his large sword.
Approaching carelessly would allow his new sword hand to send the blade her way with a backhand swing.
He was enormous, but his great strength let him move nimbly. And…
…He did always love little tricks like switching his sword hand!
Was this a well-made Living Dead, or was this an autonomous ghost-possessed mobile shell system?
Instead of jumping after him, Tomoe Gozen ran along the field to match his rotation.
But the enemy forces began moving while she fought him.
The enemy moved forward while still turned diagonally. And her unit…
“Move! Go on ahead! I’m busy talking!”
Her exchange of attacks with Yoshinaka was a conversation. She also appreciated being able to hear Christina from her lernen figur.
Self-Destruct Woman: “Are you okay, Tomoe Gozen? Am I interrupting?”
Lady AM: “No, keep talking. Conversing with the dead in the language of combat is far from fun. In the worst case, he could drag me back to his world.”
Self-Destruct Woman: “Not long and there will be another member of the dead around here.”
Lady AM: “There already is another one here. Although they’re still collapsed over there right now.”
That was Yoritomo. No, it was Shima Sakon, technically speaking.
She was glad they had yet to get back up. All she could do was settle this before they did.
Lady AM: “Speak, Christina. You will remain among the living as long as you continue to speak.”
Self-Destruct Woman: “The explosives are set to a timer, you know? And I still have something I must complete before I go to sleep.”
Lady AM: “What do you still have to complete?”
The response came with a smile.
Self-Destruct Woman: “I am a bearer of information. And that piece of information…is my little secret.”
“Did you hear that!?” Masazumi asked the others atop the transport ship rapidly descending toward Nördlingen’s southern wall.
She sent her gaze out along them and saw them all nod. Futayo stood out front with Nagaoka on her back.
They all moved their heads down in affirmation, so Masazumi crossed her arms and continued.
“That was a gift from Tomoe Gozen. If the explosives are set to a timer, then they must be set to go off when this battle is meant to end.”
“Seijun, when is that?”
“7 AM. That means 17 minutes from now.”
“Oh?” Futayo smiled with only her lips. “According to Asama-sama and my calculations, it will take about a minute to cut across this city called…whatever it was.”
“Then we can easily make it. Even if we do run into obstacles, it should only take 3 to 5 minutes,” said the Date Vice Chancellor as she stepped forward and summoned her mobile shell. The green and red device surrounded her in an instant. “There is one thing I want to check on, so I was right to come here.”
Meanwhile, Masazumi looked down toward her hands.
The words written there were from Christina and meant for Tomoe Gozen.
Self-Destruct Woman: “So, Tomoe Gozen, while I prepare my bed, I would like to present to you some historical criticism of mine.”
Self-Destruct Woman: “It is generally accepted that the Harmonic Unification War changed the world, correct?”
Christina chose a room with a view of the battlefield hill and of Nördlingen.
This was her last bit of excitement, so she moved to a room with a view of the fighting she had caused.
Lady AM: “Christina, it is true that the Harmonic Unification War greatly changed the world. Or to be more accurate, it was the collapse of the Harmonic World that caused the two worlds to combine and create twice as many headaches for everyone. …Ah.”
Self-Destruct Woman: “Is something wrong?”
Lady AM: “I just had a bit of my bangs taken off on the right. Now I have to get the other side cut to match, you son of a-!”
That can be tricky, thought Christina before Tomoe Gozen got back on topic.
Lady AM: “Friction was unavoidable when two worlds joined together. And that created twice the spatial density of history in this one world. Not to mention that the temporal density of history recreations has continued to grow as time goes on.”
Self-Destruct Woman: “That is a strange way of viewing things.”
Lady AM: “Huh? What is?”
Self-Destruct Woman: “I will explain that later.”
“I see,” said Tomoe Gozen before quieting down. The fighting must have grown more intense.
That meant she was conversing with a past that should not have been here. So Christina spoke up as if butting into Tomoe Gozen and Yoshinaka’s conversation.
Self-Destruct Woman: “It is true that the number of issues requiring interpretations continues to grow. There was the Battle of Mikawa, Hashiba’s arrival in M.H.R.R., P.A. Oda’s control of the Mlasi forces, and even the Logismoi Oplo. Yes.”
But she had a question about that.
“Why is that?”
This was an age of upheaval and there was something she had come to understand after gathering so much information about the state of the world and after working to smooth things over between the different nations.
Self-Destruct Woman: “We have things a lot easier than they did in the past.”
Don’t you find that strange?
Self-Destruct Woman: “We have a recency bias that makes us think that we are facing more problems now than people did in the past. But in fact, the Age of Dawn had to have been a far harder place to live. I am sure part of it comes from the pain fading from our collective memories with time, but I still have to ask why we think the history recreation was so much easier in the past.”
Self-Destruct Woman: “At the same time, I think that the history recreation did grow stricter with the Harmonic Unification War 160 years ago.”
Christina placed her hand on the futon folded up on the floor.
Maria generally prepared that for her. The sheet was attached to the end of the futon and its white color looked bright in the evening air when she spread it out.
“In the past,” said Christina. “During the time we call the Age of Dawn, the Environmental Gods created the Harmonic Divine States.”
The people of the other nations moved there and began to live there.
There were fewer wars back then, so it might seem that things must have been easier back then.
“But you would be sorely mistaken.”
Self-Destruct Woman: “It is strange, isn’t it? The Age of Dawn was a time in which a small population lived in a harsh environment with no resources and no technology. The Divine States and especially the Harmonic Divine States were left with their natural environment to help people develop the skills needed to conquer the similarly harsh environment of the outside world.”
They did that without technology, spells, weapons, or even homes.
The enemy then had not been wars. The question they had to ask was whether or not they could survive.
Self-Destruct Woman: “The interpretations we use now only work because our opponents are people too.”
“Why?” she asked herself.
Self-Destruct Woman: “The people in the past must have been in a desperate situation. That is why they created the Testament to help themselves make progress. But I find something about all this strange. We reached this point while continuing to follow the history recreation, but why have we run across so many more things that require interpretations than in the past?”
She had a possible answer.
Self-Destruct Woman: “Could it be that we are degenerating? Or are we making up for our deficiencies with everything we have gained?”
Lady AM: “Are you trying to say the Harmonic Unification War put us in an even worse place now than during the Age of Dawn?”
Self-Destruct Woman: “I am not confident enough in any of this to say that for sure.”
Saying that felt like cheating, but that was her fault for failing to reach a full understanding of the world.
Self-Destruct Woman: “This is only my own viewpoint. We have reports saying the history recreation was successfully completed during the Age of Dawn, but we have not actually heard from every single person who lived back then. But based on the surviving records and traditions of those people and based on the information we can reproduce in different nations, I have come to think that the history recreation used to be a lot more lenient.”
Lady AM: “That is not true.”
Tomoe Gozen paused for a moment.
Lady AM: “If it was so lenient, how do you explain what happened with Yoshinaka and the rest of us?”
Self-Destruct Woman: “Then let me ask you one more thing. Yes.”
Christina asked her question.
Self-Destruct Woman: “What kind of interpretation did you initially think the chief imperial advisor’s group would provide for Yoshinaka-sama?”
Self-Destruct Woman: “A very lenient one. But why did you think something like that would happen?”
Asama hurriedly recorded what Tomoe Gozen was relaying to them.
…Wait, this is some juicy stuff!
Mitotsudaira and Masazumi were looking her way (the former while anchoring Toori with a chain).
She tried to sum up what those two had been saying.
“Christina-san is saying she thinks the history recreation has grown stricter since the Harmonic Unification War, although she does not know why. Tomoe Gozen rejected that because it was pretty strict for her, but Christina-san threw that back at her by saying hers was supposed to receive a lenient interpretation but that was rejected.”
They had not known about all this when they discussed it before.
“Toori-kun, do you remember our earlier discussion that this ties into?”
“Judge. I do. I was just noticing how this all makes more sense now.”
They had not known this part since it was a private issue, but they had that info now.
But Mitotsudaira smiled her way.
“Y-yes, what is it?”
“When did you and my king discuss this?”
She felt her body temperature rapidly drop.
Come to think of it, she had not shared that conversation with everyone.
“W-well, um, i-it wasn’t at a weird time or anything like that.”
“My, my. That means you kept it a secret, doesn’t it?”
“It’s not like that,” cut in Naruze, sounding annoyed with it all. “It was while the rest of you slept. Remember how we had some questions about Tomoe Gozen trying to convince Christina to not blow herself up? We wondered if the Protestant Representative would really disobey the Testament like that. …Well, the Chancellor was wondering about that too, so Asama made some deductions based on Shinto information and explained that Tomoe Gozen is skeptical about the history recreation. Now, about 70% of it was her making stuff up, but it was still a juicy conversation for me. And…none of that changes that Tomoe Gozen’s husband was killed in the history recreation.”
“I can make stuff up too. For example, maybe Tomoe Gozen became the Protestant Representative in order to oppose the Catholics who insist on martyrdom through the history recreation like they did at Mikawa. And maybe she thought she could provide interpretations and leniency if she was the representative.”
“I can see why she came here to Nördlingen. And if that is the case,” said Naruze. “Well, look forward to the rest at the upcoming summer event!”
“P-please give us more than that, 4th Special Duty Officer!!” insisted Adele.
Asama agreed, but she also appreciated what Naruze had done.
“I see,” said Mitotsudaira. “Tomo, your role is to put our king’s mind at ease without using war or hostility. So while you are awake, you are in charge of such things.”
“Oh, thank you for saying that.”
She sent the records of the discussion about Tomoe Gozen to the others. She erased the parts the others did not need to see, but she sent an unredacted version to Mitotsudaira, Horizon, and Kimi. She decided to set up an automatic filter to handle that in the future.
His words and Naruze’s were included in the record, but…
“That about sums it up. This should help anyone who wants to know why Tomoe Gozen is fighting here and what this battle means.”
“Judge.” Mitotsudaira bowed toward her. “I finally understand why my king told me to go support Tomoe Gozen.”
“Oh…should I have let Toori-kun explain it instead?”
Mitotsudaira’s eyebrows rose at that, but she also smiled.
“The two of us are friends too, remember?”
Come to think of it, that was true. Mitotsudaira seemed more mature than her at the moment, so Asama decided to try to be more openminded. And…
Self-Destruct Woman: “Tomoe Gozen, there is one thing I would like to confirm about what you told me before.”
Self-Destruct Woman: “There is a point in common between your case and the Harmonic Unification War, isn’t there?”
Tomoe Gozen just about gasped
Her body nearly tensed up, so she quickly relaxed her knees to adjust her body’s strength.
Just then, light raced by overhead.
A line of explosions followed, so she stepped aside while feeling the blast on her shoulder.
…This is too dangerous a conversation to hold mid-battle!
She had thought nothing could distract her from a 500-year-old reunion, but this was shocking too.
But she knew to what Christina referred.
There was a point in common between what happened to her and the Harmonic Reunification War.
Lady AM: “Kyou. Or more specifically, the emperor in the Imperial Palace, right!?”
The turning point in Tomoe Gozen’s incident was the chief imperial advisor’s group asking the Imperial Palace about their interpretation.
And the turning point in the Harmonic Reunification War was the collapse of the Harmonic Divine States.
Self-Destruct Woman: “The collapse of the Harmonic Divine States was caused by the theft of the imperial regalia from Kyou’s Imperial Palace in the Divine States. Those were needed to access the Environmental Gods.”
The Testament had said it happened due to a conflict over imperial succession.
Lady AM: “Christina! Are you insinuating there is a group or an individual within Kyou’s Imperial Palace that wishes to have us follow the history recreation to the letter!? Are you saying they are the ones who forced that strict following of the history recreation onto me and onto all the history recreations following the Harmonic Reunification War?”
Self-Destruct Woman: “I am not so sure about that.”
Self-Destruct Woman: “If they could do that, it would mean Kyou’s Imperial Palace is closely tied to the Testament Union and was also managing the martyrdom advocated by the Catholics. But I have never received any information suggesting such a link. But…if there is a point in common, I think it may have had its beginning there.”
She smiled. It was a self-deprecating smile. She had gathered so much information and thought she understood the world so well, and yet…
Self-Destruct Woman: “Even if I am right about this, it must only be the very first step.”
Lady AM: “–––––”
Self-Destruct Woman: “I am either wrong, or I have only made it to the Imperial Palace’s entranceway. As full of myself as I might be, not even I can say anything for sure beyond this. Just think of this as what small amount of pride I still have as an information gatherer. Yes.”
Christina sighed and spoke to herself.
“Time to finish this up.”
It is over, thought Christina.
Most of the information she had had been rendered meaningless during the last few years of upheaval.
She had thought she had nothing left, but when she did some digging, it was into the cruel history recreation being forced onto her.
She had looked into it, but had ultimately reached her limit.
After all, all of the related incidents were considered taboo by Shinto, so no records remained.
She may have been able to see more if she had made some connections in deeper places.
And she did have a connection like that – Akechi Mitsuhide.
He was not her true father, but they had temporarily grown fairly close due to their history recreation relationship. Nowadays, she never saw him unless something else created an opportunity, but…
She was certain he would know more about this than her.
What had led the history recreation to all of a sudden start forcing things on people?
Had the Harmonic Unification War begun when someone took a strict view of the history recreation, or had there been some other reason?
…He would know.
But he would not tell her anything.
That spring, she had tried asking him about it at Kyoto’s Nijou Castle.
But he had bluntly told there was “no answer” to that.
Yes, he had almost seemed to be telling her to create an answer.
So she had made up her mind.
She had given up on her information and she had failed to reach an understanding of the world or the cruelty befalling her, but…
“I can make sure someone inherits everything I have.”
She had just made sure of that here.
She could see the divine transmission settings on her lernen figur. Information was her specialty, so her programs and data management divine protections let her know when her data was being sent elsewhere.
Musashi must have received the puzzle she had failed to solve.
And he had to be with them.
She sat down on her futon and slowly lay down on her back.
Self-Destruct Woman: “Now it is finished.”
She activated a Catholic compressed sleep spell.
She would never wake again. And just before she fell asleep…
She had ended everything, she had made sure it was all inherited by someone else, and she had lost all value of her own. But that meant something else for her.
Self-Destruct Woman: “I can go to sleep for the last time while doing the one thing I was never able to do before.”
She opened a lernen figur.
It was morning and she could hear artillery fire in the distance.
“Okay, let’s go.”
Mitotsudaira heard her king speak after finally landing down on the deck.
“We need to do something to help Nagabuto’s wife and Tomoe Gozen.”
“Judge!” She was the first to state her agreement and she breathed in to continue. “We must do this. We cannot let this be the end for her,” she said. “This world does not have enough officers to let any of them decide they are finished.”
“That is true.” Masazumi stepped up next to her and raised her right hand. “All of Musashi’s forces will now work to support the Protestant anti-imperial force that is fighting to protect Nördlingen. And we will be participating in the Battle of Nördlingen as an interpretation of Inadome Sukenao’s arrival at Ishida Mitsunari’s attack on the Nagaoka estate.”
“Try to keep it shorter next time, Seijun!”
“This time, we’re in trouble if I don’t cram all the details in there!”
Meanwhile, the transport ship arrived on the hill’s slope and began its charge toward Nördlingen’s south gate.
The pilot had no intent of reducing the speed picked up during their descent. They were on a collision course.
The Secretary opened a sign frame amid it all.
“Listen up, everyone. Our route will take us straight through Nördlingen. The Testament says Nördlingen opened its gate to the Catholics without taking any damage, so once we enter the city, any damage from artillery will be our responsibility and the Catholics are sure to be firing shells on us. Yes, shells of anger but of an unrighteous-”
Musashi: “We can defend against those by opening defense barriers. However, the Catholic warriors will enter the city and we cannot catch every small bullet, so you must handle that with your divine protections and actions. Over.”
That summed it up. The Secretary clearly wanted to say something about having his line cut off, but it was best to ignore him.
Their king stepped forward, so Mitotsudaira felt like she had to ask.
“My king, will you be participating in the battle?”
“No?” He turned around to show he was holding the arms. “I’m going on a date.”
Kimi burst out laughing and slapped her brother’s shoulder with a hand to her own face.
Mitotsudaira and Asama had to laugh too. However…
“H-hey! This transport ship is going to crash into the gate!” shouted Nagaoka from Futayo’s back. “Are you sure about this!? Shouldn’t you be looking where you’re going!?”
“Hm? Of course we’re sure. You should probably look where we’re going too.”
Nagaoka peered past Futayo’s shoulder to look out ahead.
Musashi: “Activating defense barriers. Over.”
Once “Musashi” said that, several layers of large defense barriers opened.
They were all right in front of the transport ship and facing toward it.
Just as Mitotsudaira wondered why Nagaoka found this so confusing, the transport ship crashed into the defense barriers.
Mitsunari saw it happen from her position next to Matthias.
The Musashi transport ship had descended diagonally down from atop the hill and crashed into some defense barriers.
Except these large barriers had been opened by Musashi themselves.
…Was that to stop the ship!?
Their high speed had been to avoid being hit by the artillery fire from the Catholic ships.
But taking the time to slow down normally would also expose them to artillery fire.
This was their answer.
They used 17 defense barriers. Light sprayed out from every single one of them and the transport ship came to a rapid stop.
A voice reached her audio system.
The Musashi forces had used the force of the crash to leap forward.
A straight line invasion had begun.
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